Bedroom fire shocker for pensioner sparks warning over electric blankets

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A LUCKY escape from a bedroom fire for a Doncaster pensioner has prompted a safety warning about electric blankets.

The woman in her 90s had got out of bed only a short time before it caught fire due to a faulty blanket.

Because she had closed her bedroom door to keep it warm, she was unaware of the burning bed until after a fire alarm at the bungalow went off.

It was automatically reported to an emergency control room and Doncaster fire crews were sent to the address in Southfield Court, Armthorpe, just after 7.20am yesterday.

A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said the bed fire also spread to the carpet but the smoke was contained to the one room because of the closed door.

“This lady has been very lucky. Because the door had been closed she wasn’t aware there was a fire in the bedroom but the control centre contacted her son and he went round to discover it,” said the spokesman.

Electric blankets cause hundreds of fires every year and people using them are urged to check for danger signs, such as fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed elements, creasing or folding, soiling, damp patches, tie tapes damaged or missing, worn flex, loose connections.

If in doubt, chuck it out, says South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. A new blanket costs only around £15.

Electric blankets should be replaced at least every 10 years and tested by an expert at least every three. Owners can ask the shop where they bought it about testing and servicing, or contact the council trading standards department which runs free testing days.

All blankets should have the British or European standard and a safety certification mark plus overheat protection. Second-hand blankets should not be bought.

For a free Home Safety Check call 0114 253 2314.